Monday, November 15, 2010
Education and War: A Glance At U.S. Spending (Part II)
A Business Model or Bust?
Sure Duncan and Obama hold the reigns for now and talk a good game about education reform, while generating a plan to meet the current agenda. An agenda that consistently refers to education as an "economic imperative."
In Duncan's November 4, 2010 address to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), Duncan introduced "The Vision of Education Reform in the United States" with a running metaphor to our current economic instability.
With all this talk of "economics" in education, we sure do pinch the wallet when it comes to funding. What kind of business model makes money without spending money?
In order for the "business model" in U.S. education to work, there has to be an increase in funding. The U.S. spends pennies to the dollar needed for the current agenda planned for national education reformation. Many of our competitors out-perform us for a reason.
How Do We Compare Globally?
I found myself sorely disappointed and upset. In my research I kept finding numbers and percentages that appeared inflated in comparison to what I viewed on the budget tables at the whitehouse.gov site.
In part one of this posting, I listed numbers that were displayed on budget tables in the millions. How is it that there are people out there saying that we spend more on Education than defense? What part of 32,409 million is bigger than 636,537 million? Again I did not add the defense budgets of four major agencies listed in my diagram in part I.
This is a prime example of why the U.S. was ranked as 27th in world math scores and 33rd in reading. Basic mathematics ran away when digital dependency infected the masses. Literacy does not just include the ability to phonetically read aloud the words viewed, but comprehending those same words.
We live in a society filled with misinformation and misguided notions. People walk around believing everything they hear without verifying the facts.
Here are the facts with regard to U.S. spending. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, millions of Americans struggle to survive in wars far from home and millions of children slowly ascend through a failing system riddled with all sorts of funding issues.
What can we do? Start lobbying? Create a tea party movement? Ask for budget cuts in military spending and have the top officials take much needed money away from our troops, so they can keep their air conditioned tents when they are at war? Or maybe put a much needed salary cap on high government positions?
I don't know the answer, but I do know one solution: place a higher bet on education.